Economic Crisis: Aliko Dangote urges Buhari to sell NLNG - EazyFeeds

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Sunday 18 September 2016

Economic Crisis: Aliko Dangote urges Buhari to sell NLNG

Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has asked President Mu­hammadu to sell off the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company other huge capital-generating enterprises and pool the proceeds back into the economy.
He believes that the measure will take the country out of the cur­rent economic recession before the year ends.
In an interview with CNBC Africa, Dangote declared that the most feasible way for the Federal Government to get out of the current economic chal­lenges is to quickly diversify the economy.
His suggestion came a few days after President Buhari at a retreat on the 2017 Budget, urged his economic team and other Nigerians to come up with new ideas on how to take the country out of the present recession.

Dangote said: “If I had chal­lenges in my company, I would not hesitate to sell the assets to remain afloat, to get to the better times, because it doesn’t make any sense for me to keep any assets and then suffocate the whole organisation.
“What we need to do now in my thinking… we have a lot of assets to sell. We can sell part of the joint venture; part of the shares. You know government normally owns 60 per cent. We can sell in an open tender. We can change the term and make it an operating one, just like what we have in NLNG. We also have another asset I think we don’t really need,” he said.
According to him, “the Afri­can Finance Corporation (AFC); it can fetch them $800million easily. My suggestion before was that they should even sell 100 per cent of NLNG. I don’t think the government should be in any business of investing in sectors of the LNG. A company like that, with earnings of $1.5 billion on the average, they should get any­where between $12 billion and $15 billion.”
He maintained that investing the proceeds in the economy will facilitate the country’s develop­ment.
The business mogul contin­ued: “You will not believe that the crisis that we have today, if we have $15 billion, adding it to our $25 billion, that is $40 billion reserves. That will give confi­dence, then the government will back it up with proper economic policy, where people can see the roadmap.
“Latest by the fourth quar­ter, Nigeria will be out of reces­sion. It should be a partnership between the government and private sector. We have all the answers; Nigeria falling into re­cession does not really scare me, if we act promptly,” he said.
Dangote argued that if the Buhari administration boosts its reserves, the naira could stabilise at 250 to the dollar, adding that, “once we can sell assets, and put $15 billion together, you’d be very shocked at how much the dollar will actually drop, you can easily see N250 per dollar. What is happening today is mere spec­ulation. In currency transaction, everybody will speculate, even the banks will speculate, com­panies will speculate, individu­als will speculate, because if you have money you want to send in from abroad you will keep send­ing in trickles.”
He concluded that “if you know that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has $40 billion in reserves, if you have $100,000, you might even sell it forward because you know that this rate may crash.”

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